FDLE, State Attorney's Office investigating deputies' use of force in Warrington shooting

FDLE, State Attorney's Office investigating deputies' use of force in Warrington shooting

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is investigating what led to an officer-involved shooting on Friday in the Warrington area.

"Since I've been here 16 years, I don't know no problem at all," said Susan Dowler, an owner of a business near the shooting location.

The incident started at The Warrington Bank around 9 a.m. Investigators said a man went into the bank and told employees to call 911 or someone would get hurt. The man then took off and ended up in front of a store on Commerce Road. Three Escambia County Sheriff's deputies confronted him. That is when Dowler heard multiple gunshots.

Chief Deputy Chip Simmons said deputies reacted because the man had a weapon.

"He claimed to have a gun, he then pulled out a gun and began firing," Simmons said. "The deputies returned fire."

We do not know yet if all three deputies fired their weapons.

The man who was shot was taken to the hospital. His name and condition have not been released. FDLE interviewed witnesses and is now processing evidence. Once they are done, they will forward their findings to the State Attorney's Office. Assistant State Attorney John Molchan said the office will decide if the use of force was justified or not.

"We have a pretty good system in place that will deal with every facet," Molchan said.

Molchan said part of the process is having staff from their office at the scene to get the full picture of what happened.

"Photographs and videos are good, but they do not give you the perspective of distance, location, lighting, all of those types of things come into play," Molchan said. "When we are at a scene it provides us a great deal of the 3D picture."

Molchan said it usually takes three to six months to determine whether to charge the officers involved.

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